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Andy Kirkham

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  1. Judging from the destinations, I would guess the bottom one is at Wadebridge.
  2. Great pictures; a refreshing change from endless loco threequarters views. I've never seen a picture of a railbus at Bodmin General; I wonder if it was in passenger service or on its way to receive some maintenance somewhere. I was interested in the sign at Bodmin Road saying "Over the bridge for Down trains". Was the public expected to be familiar with the concept of Up and Down? I also never realised that the Seaton branch closed on the same day as the Somerset & Dorset.
  3. As a ten-year-old in 1966 I assumed that the Triang Battle Space range http://www.tri-angrailways.com/Battlespace.htm was named in recognition of its dual theme of (a) Battles, represented by the rifle in the emblem, and (b) Space (i.e. the extraterrestrial void) represented by the rocket. Over the next forty years I don't suppose I gave any thought to the matter until I attended a job interview with a military oriented company, and must have done a double-take when the interviewer used the term "battlespace" without otherwise hinting that he was a Triang afficionado. I didn't get the job. It seems that "battlespace" is now the preferred term for what used to be called a battlefield, but I can't find any reference online to the history of the word apart from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlespace where it says "Over the last 25 years, the understanding of the military operational environment has transformed from primarily a time and space-driven linear understanding (a "battlefield") to a multi-dimensional system of systems understanding (a battlespace)". If that is a true representation of the timescale, then Triang must have been extraordinarily prescient in adopting the term roughly twenty-five years before it came into general use. I wonder if Triang invented the term independently, or whether someone in the company was attuned to the very latest developments in military thinking. Or perhaps it's just not such a modern term as all that.
  4. which seemed rather incongruous as the model represented B.R. Southern Region IIRC.
  5. I think part of the reason for restricting the lengths of platforms 0 & 1 is to avoid blocking pedestrian access from the north, which is apparently the most popular route in an out of the station
  6. There certainly were big plans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanbourne_railway_station At Swanbourne, it was planned to redevelop the sidings and land near Swanbourne station as a marshalling yard where trains could be sorted into the order required for their destinations on the Southern and Western Regions.[31][37][38] This would enable smaller goods yards in those regions to be closed, with the freight traffic concentrated at Swanbourne which, like the other proposed marshalling yards, would be equipped with the latest automation technology.[39] Swanbourne was one of seven proposed sites on green field land, the others being Carlisle Kingmoor, Perth, Edinburgh Millerhill, Margam, Brookthorpe and Walcot.[40] In September 1958, work started on the upgrade of the Varsity Line with the construction of a flyover at Bletchley to separate local and long distance traffic.[36][41] Compulsory purchase orders were issued for the proposed site including Horwood House, then a boarding school, which was intended by BR to become a training school for the new yard. I'm sure I remember seeing in a 1950's magazine a map of the (then) proposed LMR electrification, and it showed the line to Swanbourne as electrified.
  7. I'm very relieved to hear it. Many of us will remember when Ben Fisher's WHR website suddenly stopped being updated https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2009/oct/26/ben-fisher-obituary
  8. I expect is poor etiquette to quote onseself but here goes: as a teenager I thoroughly bought into the line that the Curse of Beeching brought ruination to countless communities. I remember the sense of perverse disappointment that I felt when I actually visited some of these places (Cirencester among them) and found them to be apparently thriving. What is nowadays called Cognitive Dissonance.
  9. Yes, I've found some more information on this https://fosbr.org.uk/temple-meads-masterplan-november-2019-update/ It's planned that platforms 0 and 1 will extend to just outside the Old Station trainshed, thereby maintaining the present pedestrian access from the north.
  10. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/raft-changes-planned-temple-meads-3822971 A preview of some proposed enhancements to Temple Meads. The mention of "New Platforms 0/1" seems to suggest that the reopening of the Old Station is back on the agenda.
  11. There's nothing like a few Virol adverts for establishing period atmosphere
  12. A while ago I read "last Trains" by Charles Loft https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/last-trains, a study of the Beeching closures. He is a lecturer and I recall (i may not remember this exactly right) his account of how he described to his students the anguished protests that greeted the announcement of the Cirencester closure, with apocalyptic predictions of the place becoming a ghost town etc. His students could not understand what the fuss could have been about - "It's only a taxi ride to Kemble", one of them said.
  13. Yes. You get the impression that George didn't document his photographs ( many of the captions are taken up with deductions made from train reporting numbers and loco alllocation histories) so few of them have definite dates, or even years. But nearly all of them show locos with the late or early BR emblem and only one (on the title page) with "British Railways". I believe he started railway photography in earnest in 1952 after he'd finished National Service.
  14. From what I can see, the loco on the box illustration looks somewhat different from the model inside. How close is the resemblance?
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